Memphis City School board member Kenneth Whalum, Jr., will have to wait a little longer to ascertain the truth.
He was back before a Shelby County Chancery Court Judge Ken Armstrong Wednesday hoping for a decision to re-vote the Aug. 2 primary election for the District 4 seat on the Unified School board.
Frustration over the wheels of justice, which seemingly grinds at a snails pace when it comes to a resolution for Pastor Whalum. He was hoping the judge would rule in his favor, over the balloting errors in the District 4 school board race against his competitor Kevin Woods.
Instead, the hearing was delayed until Nov. 8, two days after the general election.
"Neither my opponent nor I contributed in any way to the mistakes, to the inaccuracies," Whalum said. "It was solely the (Shelby County) election's commission responsibility."
The Shelby County Election Commission has admitted there were hundreds of incorrect ballots cast, but the state maintains there was no ill intent. Robert Spence, Whalum's attorney, has the task of figuring out how the commission arrived at the vote totals.
Attorney Spence says it breaks down to 837 incorrect votes.
"The first group are voters who weren't eligible to vote, but who were allowed to vote," he said. "In the second group are voters who should have been allowed to vote, but who got the wrong ballot."
Spence said he expects a trial to start in late November or early December.
Attorney Samuel Muldvain for the election commission admits mistakes were made and the commission is trying to make sure the mistakes don't happen again.
"We're doing everything possible within the context of this election contest to provide the clearest, the most accurate information that the parties need in order for them to argue their cases and for the chancellor to make whatever decision he deems necessary," Muldvain said.
Judge Armstrong is charged with deciding if the voting irregularities would have altered the outcome of the race, which may lead to revote and thousands of dollars to pay for a new election. Or he may realize he can't make a reasonable determination based on the numbers who is the clear winner.
But what is clear for Whalum, the outcome needs to resolve a legal standard for the election process.
"At some point, the voters have got to be confident that their votes count and right now their votes don't count," Whalum said.
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